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19 August 2022 | Podcasts | Article by Kathleen Hallisey

A discussion on ‘Prima Facie’: HJ Talks About Abuse


A discussion on 'Prima Facie': HJ Talks About AbuseA discussion on 'Prima Facie': HJ Talks About AbuseA discussion on 'Prima Facie': HJ Talks About Abuse

In this week’s episode of HJ Talks About Abuse, Kathleen and Feleena discuss ‘Prima Facie’ – a highly acclaimed one woman play starring Jodie Comer. Comer plays a criminal defence barrister who defends accused rapists and finds herself a victim of rape by a male colleague.

The play was taped for audiences and has enjoyed limited showings at local cinemas. It is moving to Broadway soon.

The abuse team discuss the issue of consent and how victims are often asked in court how much they were drinking and whether they had sex with the perpetrator previously. This leads to a discussion of society’s understanding of consent and how organisations such as the Schools Consent project, and the FA which recently announced mandatory consent training, are working to educate around the issue of consent.

They discuss specialist sexual assault courts that exist in other jurisdictions and whether such courts should be introduced in the UK. This leads them to consider the Victims Code which grants various rights to victims, as well as the Victims Bill of Rights which is currently before Parliament. The Victims Bill of Rights as currently proposed does not include any liability if a victim’s rights under the code are not upheld. They also discuss whether not attaching any liability for failing to adhere to the Victims Code creates a toothless system for victims and survivors.

Author bio

Kathleen Hallisey is a Senior Associate in the Abuse Team at Hugh James.

Originally from the US, she began her legal career in New York before moving to the UK and becoming a solicitor. Throughout her career, she has exclusively acted on behalf of claimants, including those who suffered catastrophic injuries on the road or at work, were dismissed from their jobs as a result of discrimination, or sexually assaulted on university campuses.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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